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News Archive 2006

A Celebration of Excellence at KSU!

4/28/06, History Department Newsletter

On April 28, 2006, over ninety faculty, students, and friends of Kent State University's Department of History met PartyPhoto1at the Conference Center of the Northeastern Ohio Universities' College of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio, for the department's annual spring banquet. The honored guest for the evening’s festivities was Dr. Thomas Smith, Ph.D., 1966, the first in a long line of over one hundred and seventy graduates of the department’s doctoral program. Smith had a successful career in Ohio, holding a variety of academic and public history positions, culminating in the directorship of the Ohio Historical partyphoto2Society, before moving to Texas to assume the directorship of the Texas Rangers
Baseball Museum. He has recently been involved in historic site restoration in Dallas, Texas. Over the years, Dr. Smith has been a generous contributor to the Department of History, designating the Henry Whitney Scholarship Fund for his annual gift. In addition to Dr. Smith’s after dinner reflections on his long and successful career in public history, department chairperson John R. Jameson and coordinator of graduate studies Kim M. Gruenwald took the opportunity to recognize those graduates of partyphoto3the doctoral program in attendance, as well as undergraduate and graduate students whose performance over the past academic year has been praiseworthy. Professor Leonne M. Hudson, himself a graduate of the doctoral program, then spoke eloquently of the contributions of his mentor, the late Frank L. Byne, and announced the department’s fundraising initiative to establish the Frank L. Byrne Graduate Research Award to honor his memory.


Preparing Future History Faculty, By: Mary Ann Heiss

Fall 2006, History Department Newsletter

To better prepare our doctoral graduates for full-time teaching positions, last academic year (AY 2005-06) the department launched a Preparing Future History Faculty (PFHF) Program. Our program builds on similar initiatives launched throughout the country in the past decade, most of them under the aegis of the Council of Graduate Schools and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The underlying premise of all faculty preparation programs, ours included, is that graduate education must extend beyond the classroom and include more than the research component traditionally associated with the dissertation. Although most other faculty preparation programs are open only to doctoral students, ours also welcomes M.A. students. It’s never too early, after all, to begin preparing for one’s career.

The Kent State University PFHF Program’s intent is to educate graduate students about the three major types of faulty work—teaching, research, and service—and about the different expectations that prevail regarding those types of work at different kinds of academic institutions (community colleges, liberal arts institutions, public universities, etc.). By educating graduate students about the expectations they’re likely to face on the job, frustration and confusion during the first years of academic employment can be minimized or completely eliminated. Informed graduate students are also more likely to interview well and to succeed or even thrive during their first years on the job. The first year or so of our departmental PFHF Program has been a busy and profitable one, thanks to an enthusiastic cohort of participating graduate students and a
dedicated group of faculty volunteers. (Read More in PDF format)

Forty-Five years of Doctoral Excellence

Spring 2006, History Department Newsletter

The annual banquet of the Department of History on April 28th will celebrate the forty-fifth anniversary of doctoral studies on the Kent Campus. Kent has had a quality graduate program in History since the 1930s, with the first M.A. degree awarded in 1936. (Read More in PDF format)

Department of History Congratulates Laura Bender Herron

Spring 2006, History Department Newsletter

Laura Bender Herron, a 2005 Honors graduate with Departmental Honors in History, was named a 2005 Portz Scholar by the National Collegiate Honors Council. Each year NCHC selects for this honor the three best papers submitted by honors programs and colleges nationally. This is the third time a Kent State Honors student has received this prestigious recognition. Laura’s paper, selected by the Honors College as its submission, was her senior thesis, “Redemptive Memory: The Christianization of the Holocaust in America.” Laura presented the work at the national conference in St. Louis in October, was recognized at the President’s Luncheon, and was given an award stipend. Bender Herron also presented the paper at an interdisciplinary conference on the Holocaust at Bowling Green State University in March. (Read More in PDF format)

New Faculty: Patti Kameya and Kevin Adams

Spring 2006, History Department Newsletter

kameyasmallDr. Kameya joined the history department at Kent State University in August 2006. She defended her dissertation, "Paupers, Poets, and Paragons: Eccentricity as Virtue in Kinsei kijinden (Eccentrics of our times, 1790)" in the spring of 2006, and is preparing the manuscript for publication. She specializes in cultural and intellectual history of Tokugawa Japan (1600-1868), and her research interests include gender, the formation of national identity, intellectual exchange within Northeast Asia, and borderlands such as Okinawa and Hokkaido.



adamssmallDr. Adams received his PhD at the University of California at Berkely in May. He is currently revising his dissertation on the interplay of class, race, and ethnicity in the post-Civil War frontier Army for publication by the University of Oklahoma Press. Earlier incarnations of this work have been presented at annual meetings for the Society of Military History, the Western Historical Association, and, most recently, the Organization of American Historians, where he presented a portion of his research on the work culture of the frontier Army at the 2006 annual meeting in Washinton D.C. Dr. Adams favors an ecumenical approach to teaching and research, but his primary areas of specialization are War and Society in the United States, 1607-Present, Gilded Age America, and the history of the Trans-Mississippi West.


New Faculty: Ralph Menning, Brown University, 1986

Fall 2006, History Department Newsletter

menningsmallDr. Ralph Menning is a graduate of the UN International School in New York and Yale, and earned his Ph.D. in modern European history at Brown. He has taught international relations and international history at the University of Montana, Heidelberg College (Ohio), and, most recently, part-time at the University of Toledo. Working for much of the 1990s as a lecturer for the Smithsonian’s Study Tours and Seminars division, he traveled widely in Central Europe and developed a secondary interest in transregional and urban history. Between 2001 and 2006, he chaired the history department at Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo. He is author of several articles and The Art of the Possible: Documents on Great Power Diplomacy, 1814-1914 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996).



Research Report: Monika Flaschka's Research Agenda

Spring 2006, History Department Newsletter

Monika Flaschka is halfway through the research for her dissertation on sexual assaults committed by the German army during the Second World War. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, race, and sexuality in Nazi ideology and the application of Nazi and military law. She spent the Fall semester living and working in Freiburg, Germany. At the Military Archive in Freiburg, Monika worked with the records of courts-martial for rapes committed in German occupied territories, and on the homefront. She also examined clemency and private records to include an analysis of the effects concepts of German masculinities had on the determination of punishment. In December, she will complete her DAAD scholarship, which allowed her to spend five months in Germany. She traveled to Berlin, Hamburg, and Freiburg, visiting archives, collecting documents, and meeting other scholars. l. (Read More in PDF format)